The Leading Online Tech Festival for Emerging Markets

Get a FREE 50% discount code on the Regular ticket ($99) for STEP Anywhere 2020.

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Startup Basecamp

Global startups will be showcasing their products and services online and will have the opportunity to gather leads and network with potential clients and partners. Selected startups get 2 tickets for the price of 1, a free branded virtual booth, and priority access to participate in Startup activities to meet global investors.

Pitch Competition

Startups are selected from those participating in the Startup Basecamp to participate at STEP’s online pitch competition to present their products and services to leading investors and industry experts.

Mentor’s Corner

Participating startups and entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to sign up for online 1-on-1 sessions with successful startup founders and industry experts.

2020 Participating Mentors

More Mentors To Be Announced Soon

Neena
Punnen

500 Startups MENA

Neena
Punnen

500 Startups MENA

Neena is the Public Relations & Communications Manager, at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley. As a Communications professional with more than 20 years of diverse experience she manages the external communications for 500 Startups MENA and assists the portfolio companies under its management in matters related to PR. Prior to joining 500 Startups MENA, she was an Account Manager/Senior Consultant at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, the leading international Public Relations Agency in the world. Her client portfolio included leading international brands, quasi government, and private sector organisations. She has contributed towards effective communications with multiple internal and external stakeholders through effective Marcomms, strategic brand management, training and PR campaigns. She was engaged in community, government and media relations; corporate communications; events and communications planning; and issues and crisis management. She is a poised and competent team builder and leader who succeeds in a fast-paced corporate environment. Neena holds a Masters in Banking and Taxing from Bangalore University. She is also a qualified Post Graduate Diploma holder in Finance Management with a first rank, from St Joseph’s College of Business and Administration. Neena is the Public Relations & Communications Manager, at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley. As a Communications professional with more than 20 years of diverse experience she manages the external communications for 500 Startups MENA and assists the portfolio companies under its management in matters related to PR. Prior to joining 500 Startups MENA, she was an Account Manager/Senior Consultant at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, the leading international Public Relations Agency in the world. Her client portfolio included leading international brands, quasi government, and private sector organisations. She has contributed towards effective communications with multiple internal and external stakeholders through effective Marcomms, strategic brand management, training and PR campaigns. She was engaged in community, government and media relations; corporate communications; events and communications planning; and issues and crisis management. She is a poised and competent team builder and leader who succeeds in a fast-paced corporate environment. Neena holds a Masters in Banking and Taxing from Bangalore University. She is also a qualified Post Graduate Diploma holder in Finance Management with a first rank, from St Joseph’s College of Business and Administration.

Abe
Seksek

Startupbootcamp

Abe
Seksek

Startupbootcamp

Ibrahim "Abe" Seksek is the current COO of MENA and Russia of Startupbootcamp, a Rainmaking company. Before joining Startupbootcamp he Co-Founded a couple of companies such as ZenHR Solutions, which addresses the entire HR cycle, and Crystel, Jordan's first business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. Ibrahim also worked as Head of Global Operations Support for Naspers, the parent company of dubizzle and OLX, which oversaw the operations in 70 countries.

Mohamad
Sabouneh

Startupbootcamp

Mohamad
Sabouneh

Startupbootcamp

Mohamad has digital and tech startups experience from the investor, founder, and accelerator sides. His experience ranges from initial concept validation, business model design, fundraising, financial modeling, and strategy.

Roberto
Croci

Microsoft

Roberto
Croci

Microsoft

Roberto Croci joined Microsoft for Startups team with a wide range of knowledge, having previously worked as the Google Regional head for (EMEA) Emerging Markets (Middle East, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Africa) where he helped businesses by building & mentoring teams that could successfully penetrate new markets and ensure sustainable revenue growth. As a natural born leader, he is passionate about business, people and their growth and has more than 15 years’ experience in various industries - ranging from digital marketing, ad-tech to sales. He will be integral as the Regional Managing director at Microsoft for startups Middle East, in helping startups achieve their goals and build successful businesses by promoting their tech solutions through digital and social campaigns, opening up the right opportunities for growth, customizing a market plan to maximize joint marketing with Microsoft and providing a targeted industry co-marketing and account planning. He has specialized in leadership development as a Harvard Business School graduate and has a proven track-record of creating successful teams and growing businesses in unpredictable environments. He is passionate about Entrepreneurship and is one of the Partners at Strowlers Ventures, a micro VC-fund which invests in international startups mainly founded by top-tier MBAs.

Lia
Wadih

SE Factory

Lia
Wadih

SE Factory

"Lia Wadih, Head of Product & Business Development at SE Factory (SEF), primarily focuses on driving SEF’s mission to help talented youth access training and good jobs while helping companies hire more efficiently. Lia leads on the outreach strategy and tech recruitment of SE Factory mainly by building partnerships with companies in Lebanon, MENA, Europe, and beyond; while ensuring to collect tech industry thoughts and experience to feed into SEF curriculum improvement. With overall accountability for SE Factory’s clients and financial sustainability, Lia works on driving profitability, quality, and growth to SEF’s programs by identifying and nurturing a portfolio of key organizational relationships and leading on new products’ development to leverage existing resources and offerings. This includes successively rolling out new revenue streams such as company hiring fees, SEF graduate payments, and most recently SEF’s Managed Services model for international companies; in addition to launching SEF’s paid eTutoring services and online classes for both youth and professionals, locally and abroad. Lia’s experience has been accrued in different multinational initiatives in the entrepreneurship sector such as Elevate Impact Accelerator (funded by UNICEF), Seedstars, and several startups, handling partnerships and strategic alliances, product development, events management, content creation, M&E, and process mapping and improvement. Lia holds a BEng in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Business from the Lebanese American University."

Elena
Ourdan

Womenpreneur Initiative

Elena
Ourdan

Womenpreneur Initiative

Elena Ourdan is a Master student at Sciences Po Paris’s School of International Affairs. She studies International Security specializing in Human Rights and European Studies. Some of her interests include post-conflict transition, humanitarian law, empowerment of women in the Balkans, and educational projects aiming at breaking nationalism in the Balkans. A half-Bosnian, half-French, Elena also speaks English and a little bit of Spanish and German. She has a background in project management, as well as communications and public relations. Currently a Project Assistant at Womenpreneur Initative, Elena hopes to be able to implement skills she develops there in Bosnia and Herzegovina and work towards development projects and education in the country.

Tamara
Muñoz

Womenpreneur Initiative

Tamara
Muñoz

Womenpreneur Initiative

Fervent human rights advocate, language enthusiast and avid globetrotter in my free time. Having lived in different countries across Europe and worked in online marketing and market research in the start-up world for several years, at the moment I am focusing on social impact organizations.

Valentina
Nocera

Womenpreneur Initiative

Valentina
Nocera

Womenpreneur Initiative

Recently graduated in International Politics and European Studies. I have studied and lived in 3 different European countries; Italy, UK and Germany. I’ve worked in a cooperative for asylum seekers and I’ve been UNICEF volunteer for one year. Currently employed as project manager at Womenpreneur-initiative. Dynamic, hardworking and eager to learn, interested in politics and human rights.

Edwin
Kooistra

CHASM

Edwin
Kooistra

CHASM

Technology can be a huge differentiator but leveraging emerging technologies can be challenging. After my degree in Business Information Technology I decided to work on the provider side of Technology, because I believe Technology providers play an important role in guiding enterprises on their digital journey. I joined an early-stage Ymor in 2007, based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Ymor was one of the first to fully specialize in user happiness or Digital Experience as we would call it now. In different roles my focus was always on growth: developing new services, entering new industries, finding new (technology) partnerships, or entering new geographical markets. After Ymor I moved to Dubai work for Gartner. In my three years with Gartner I provided start-up, mid-size and large enterprise Tech CEOs in the Middle East the advice, insights, and tools needed to accelerate the growth of their business.

Sebastian
Diaz

The Yield Lab

Sebastian
Diaz

The Yield Lab

I contribute to innovation through my roles as mentor, advisor, consultant and director of startups, VCs and governments, thanks to my experience in marketing & communications, growth and ecosystems/accelerators strategies. Also, I promote entrepreneurship and as a Professor at the Finis Terrae University. Previously, I was CEO of Start-Up Chile, the largest and most diverse startup accelerator in the globe, where I worked with more than 1,000 tech-based startups and founders from many industries and countries. Thanks to the networks we build, we managed to consolidate the program as one of the best public policies in the region. Also, I was the founder of Afterbang Chile, a ski clothing company and Domadores TV, a broadcasting platform for journalism students.

Dania
Ismail

Jusoor

Dania
Ismail

Jusoor

Dania Ismail is the Co-founder of Jusoor, an NGO created to harness the potential of Syria’s youth through Education, Career Development, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement. She is the Founder and Director of the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Program. Dania is currently the Director of Strategy at Telfaz11, one of the most influential and creative content studios in the region. Previously, she also served as Strategy and Business Development Manager for nine years with MBC Group, the largest Broadcast/Media company in the Middle East, where she launched MBC Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund for MBC Group and managed the fund’s investments and portfolio companies. Dania also founded Third Eye Agency, a music events production and consulting agency based in Dubai. She holds an M.A. in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College in London.

Hussain
Almarhoon

HR Vision

Hussain
Almarhoon

HR Vision

Expertise in implementing HR systems and policies, conducting training programs for enhancing employee productivity and building committed teams, managing admin functions, steering teams across locations, and handling public/government relations.

Clem
Brown

CodeBrave

Clem
Brown

CodeBrave

Clementine is the Co-Founder and Director of CodeBrave, a non-profit teaching coding and robotics to vulnerable youth in Lebanon. CodeBrave teaches kids how to teach themselves and aims to match the wasted human potential among former street youth and other marginalized groups with the global tech skills gap. Prior to founding CodeBrave, Clementine was a data analyst, including at the UN, specialising in humanitarian and development interventions in Syria and Lebanon. She graduated from Oxford University in Arabic.

Sama
Alshawi

500 Startups

Sama
Alshawi

500 Startups

Sama Alshawi is the Events and Community Manager at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world. Sama has an MSc in Events Management and a BSc in Banking and Finance and is also a Certified Digital Marketing Professional. With more than 10 years of experience in the Events Management, Sama manages the community and events for the Falcons Team.

Mohamed
Amine

Business Innovation Mine (BIM)

Mohamed
Amine

Business Innovation Mine (BIM)

A certified public accountant with 10+ years experience in audit, finance, management consulting and strategy with startups and corporations of all sizes from various industries.

Stefania
Brunori

Stefania Brunori-Building Memorable Brands

Stefania
Brunori

Stefania Brunori-Building Memorable Brands

Stefania Brunori is a Brand Strategist and Marketing Specialist with over 15 years international experience in managerial positions. Having worked in Europe and the Middle East, her core areas of expertise are Brand Strategy, Digital Marketing & Branding , developing solid strategies and marketing campaigns to facilitate companies expand beyond their limits. Originally from Europe, she has been working in the UAE for 10 years, both for multinational companies such as Teka and Nokia and Middle East SME corporations with regional reach. Her entrepreneurial career started in 2015, when she launched the online portal www.yoginfinity.com , the Middle East's most complete website for Yoga & Meditation. She’s been coaching entrepreneurs since then to support Start-Ups and SMEs growth, and providing Digital Marketing & Personal Branding workshops too.

Ayman
Itani

TML-Think Media Labs

Ayman
Itani

TML-Think Media Labs

Ayman Itani is a business growth specialist, advisor, and public speaker, dedicated to helping founders, investors, government entities, and enterprises meet their growth objectives.

Rime
Diab

Limelines

Rime
Diab

Limelines

Rime is the CEO of Limelines. She has over 18 years experience in management, strategy and delivery of digital platforms around the globe. Following her Bachelor of Science in Economics from Notre Dame University in Lebanon, Rime moved to Chicago, USA and earned dual master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and MSc. in Information Systems (MSIS) with honors from Roosevelt University. Rime’s global and high academic achievements helped her succeed in several positions that she held in Chicago from Financial Analyst at Tribune Media to eCommerce Strategy Consultant at Whittman-Hart Consulting to a Senior Business Analyst, Global Technology Liaison and Program Manager of several global applications at J.P. Morgan worldwide bank. She later relocated to the MENA region and joined Thomson Reuters as a Digital Program Manager overlooking the development of several online platforms and mobile apps. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Diab spent 12 years at J. P. Morgan in USA with increasing responsibilities, leading to her role as Vice President - Program Manager of Global Client Care applications. During her Program Management role, in addition to successfully delivering around multiple tech releases per year, she was tasked to be the link to global clients during international software rollouts and traveled to the EMEA and APAC regions to be the mentor and advisor during deployment. Before J. P. Morgan, Diab held several consultant positions in the area of online strategy consulting where she executed research on best practice strategies and advised clients on how to best develop their online presence including software selections processes and delivery options. During her tenure, Rime has repeatedly received an exceeds performance rating due to high quality tech delivery process development and execution, excellent client relationship and communication, and building high performance teams.

Abdullah
Sahyoun

#فطور_فارس

Abdullah
Sahyoun

#فطور_فارس

EMBA Student More than 8 years Experience in Marketing and Business Development. Interested in Digitalization, Technology, AI and E-commerce

Bella
Arcari-Bowler

Shiftling

Bella
Arcari-Bowler

Shiftling

Bella has worked across all aspects of the startup ecosystem in MENA including enablement, investment and founding a company. She has mentored, advised or invested in over 50 tech companies before founding her own startup in 2018. She is particularly passionate about traditional industries being disrupted by technology in emerging markets.

Shaheen
Alkhudhari

Ajar

Shaheen
Alkhudhari

Ajar

Shaheen AlKhudhari is the Founder & CEO of Ajar. Shaheen holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Starting his career as an accountant, Shaheen now has over 10 years of experience working in a variety of fields including logistics, real estate, finance, and IT. In 2016, Shaheen founded Ajar to solve a personal frustration that he faced while paying rent through traditional means. Since then, he has grown Ajar to be the leading property management and rent collection solution in the Middle East.

Investor Meetings

Participating startups and entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to sign up for online 1-on-1 sessions with leading investors from the region from pre-seed to early and growth stage investors.

2020 Participating Investors

More Investors To Be Announced Soon

Hussein
Attar

Tech Invest Com

Hussein
Attar

Tech Invest Com

Hussein Attar is the investment manager at Tech Invest Com, a 1Bn SAR Saudi investment firm that invests in tech startups. He co-founded Sawerly, one of the top 50 Arab startups by Forbes. He is also in the opportunity committee at Oqal Angel investment group .

Dani
Al

Dubai angel investor

Dani
Al

Dubai angel investor

Dani Al founded Imovation in 2003, an independent ICT startup which currently helps Telecom and Retail conglomerates in the Middle East carry out their multi-million dollar mobile strategies. This experience led him to a decade long career in payment and transaction solutions, including creating Looping a mobile application platform catering to the SME market as well as being an investor, director, patent co-author and board member of Margento one of the pioneers in mobile proximity research and development.

Daniel
dos
Reis

Dtec Ventures

Daniel
dos
Reis

Dtec Ventures

Daniel dos Reis is the Senior Manager of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and responsible for the venture capital unit Dtec Ventures (https://dtec.ae/ventures). Before he was the Director of Mobily Ventures, the corporate venture capital unit of Mobily (Riyadh). He led investments in leading regional startups like Anghami, Fetchr and Rocket Internet Ventures. Daniel started his professional career as a Management Consultant. He has earned a Diploma degree in Business Administration from the University of Hamburg.

Jazeer
Jamal

Grow Valley Inc.

Jazeer
Jamal

Grow Valley Inc.

I am a passionate Tech entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in building tech companies & doing tech projects for corporates & governments. My core focus is in building startups via my company, GrowValley. Grow Valley is a Startup studio that invents, invests and launch game changing startups by partnering with influential people & organizations to leverage extraordinary growth.

Abdo
Edris

Cairo Angels

Abdo
Edris

Cairo Angels

Abdelrahman Edris is a Junior Investment Associate at the Cairo Angels. He is responsible for performing industry and company analysis and due diligence. As well as overseeing the general investment process and providing feedback and guidance to start ups. Abdelrahman is personally intrigued by the fields of fintech, logistics, e-commerce, gaming, and education . Abdelrahman holds a BSc in Economics from the University of East Anglia and a MSc in Financial Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

Mostafa
Salem

The Cairo Angels

Mostafa
Salem

The Cairo Angels

Mostafa is an Investment Associate at Cairo Angels. He is responsible for screening, analyzing, and providing feedback to developing companies. Mostafa is mainly focused on conducting diligence on tech-based companies, and is personally interested in the fields of fintech, healthtech, and renewable energy.

Lewa
Abukhait

DAAL

Lewa
Abukhait

DAAL

Chief Investment Officer at DAAL; venture capital fund in Saudi Arabia responsible for identifying promising startups and evaluating the investment opportunity within. Lewa also Provides mentorship and business development insights for portfolio companies to guide and nurture their growth on the international stage. Working previously in prominent companies within MENA region such as Orange Jordan, MBC Group and BlackBerry enabled Lewa to acquire solid understanding in realizing the scalability in technology solutions and sustainability in business models.

Omar
Barakat

BECO Capital

Omar
Barakat

BECO Capital

Omar is on the Investment Team at BECO. Before that, he spent a year traveling across the Middle East and North Africa as a Seedstars Associate, scouting, coaching and investing in early-stage tech entrepreneurs in the region. He obtained an MSc in Management Science (Decision Science) from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in Economics and Management from the University of Bristol. Being a strong believer in the impact of technology and entrepreneurship on peoples’ lives in MENA, Omar is passionate about adding value to startups and accelerating their growth.

Basil
Moftah

Global Ventures

Basil
Moftah

Global Ventures

Basil Moftah General Partner • Ex-President, Intellectual Property & Science at Thomson Reuters • Founding member of Reuters Venture Capital, the $400M corporate venture arm • Managing Director of Emerging Markets at Reuters Financial including China, India, Africa, and Latin America • Active angel investor • Led the acquisition of Zawya in Middle East, where he scaled the company EBITDA significantly • Exited a $1B revenue division of Thomson Reuters to a private equity firm in 2016 for $3.55B • Extensive business growth experience in Europe, Emerging Markets and US • Advisory Board member at REACH • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from American University in Cairo • MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS)

Kholoud
Almohammadi

Impact46

Kholoud
Almohammadi

Impact46

Community Chief at Impact46, driving the fund’s vision of proactive investing through building a network of partnership and outreach channels supporting startups in the region. Prior experience includes advising startup on pitching and investor-relations along with working with the lead Angel Investor Network in Saudi Arabia playing a major role in opportunities selection.

Christos
Mastoras

Iliad Partners

Christos
Mastoras

Iliad Partners

Christos is the Founder and Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage tech startups in MENA. He is an investor and former entrepreneur and operating executive with 20+ years of experience in tech in the US, Europe and MENA. Based in Dubai for the last 12 years, he was previously the Director of Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob and a management consultant with Booz & Company. Christos was previously an angel investor and earlier an entrepreneur as a founder and/or a senior executive at startups including Glambox, Upstream and govWorks. He serves on a number startup Boards and was a founding member of the Board of Advisors of MAGNiTT. He is a mentor with Endeavor, MITEF and Techstars. Christos holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Himag
Vaidya

Shorooq Partners

Himag
Vaidya

Shorooq Partners

As an Investment Professional with Shorooq, Himag can put his passion for technology market trends and entrepreneurship into play on a daily basis. He received his Dual Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Finance Track) and Music Practice from NYU Abu Dhabi, after which he has worked with a startup and a law firm in New York, as well as top consulting firms in the UAE and in India, while contributing to research projects with the European Union. Himag has a strong interest for social impact and moving forward he hopes to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations of the low-income immigrant population in the region. When he’s not analyzing a new market, Himag enjoys writing poetry and composing music.

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Saleh runs the Flat6Labs international accelerator program based in Bahrain, he has scouted and mentored startups from different ecosystems across the globe over the past three years and is a Stanford VCU alumni.. Previously he has launched and managed large scale projects for leading corporations in the logistics, commercial real estate and telecom verticals.

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences

Dr. Razouki has over 15 years of experience in venture capital and private equity investment with a focus on healthcare and technology, shifting from an excellence in clinical practice and research to the management and financing of healthcare and education systems. A graduate of Columbia Business School, Dr. Razouki is the first-ever Arab national to receive an MBA with a focus on Healthcare Management and Finance. Dr. Razouki is a member of the Hermes Honors Society of Columbia Business School, an honor bestowed on the top 1000 global alumni of the university. An Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon by training, Dr. Razouki has completed clinical rotations at New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University Medical Center, Harlem Hospital, Cleveland University Hospital of Case Western Reserve University and Mass General Hospital of Harvard University. Dr. Razouki graduated with Cum Laude Honors from Creighton University with a Bachelor's in Biology (Ethology) and TPP (Theology, Philosophy and Political Science). At KLSC, Dr. Razouki and his team have invested and co-invested with some of the world’s top life science venture capital funds including, New Leaf Venture Partners in New York, Wellington Partners in Munich and Kearny Venture Partners and Presidio Partners both of which are based in San Francisco. Notable investment direct and indirect investment include: CRISPR Therapeutics - a leading personalized genomic medicine company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (NASDAQ: CRSP), iRhythm Technologies, based in San Francisco, which closed 56% above its listed stock price on the first day of its IPO (NASDAQ: IRTC), Quanta Fluid Solutions – one of the world’s first home hemodialysis manufacturers, Median Technologies – a leading global provider of medical imaging solutions, especially in the field of oncology based in France (EPA: ALMDT) and SuperSonic Imagine – a leading global provider of medical ultrasound solutions also based in France (EPA: SSI) Dr. Razouki is also a former advisor to the central Kuwaiti government where he worked with senior government leaders during the administration of HE the Prime Minister, Sheikh Naser Al Mohammad Al Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Sabah on both Healthcare, Education and Entrepreneurial reforms as part of Kuwait’s 100 billion dollar Development Plan. Dr. Razouki continues to work closely with the Council of Minister’s of Kuwait and is currently advising the government on the development of the Sabah Al Ahmad National Genome Center together with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, a National Pharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratory, and the 1 bn USD Jaber Hospital project, a 1,168 facility which will be the largest single healthcare structure in the Middle East.